Top 26 Biology Themed Movies

biology movies
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Biology Movies: Biology, in the simplest terms, is defined as the study of living organisms. Nowadays, studying this subject area is no longer as hard as before because numerous study materials can now be easily accessed. Would you believe that you can now learn some biology stuff even by just watching best science fiction movies?

Below we have listed 26 biology movies and documentaries that showcase biological concepts and other related scientific fields.

Let’s explore at each of them. This biology movies list is in no particular order.

Best Biology Movies

Here are top 26 biology-themed movies, TV Series or Documentaries revolving around a particular biological concept:

1. Gattaca

Biology Concept Film Type Year of Release
Genetics Movie 1997

GattacaGenetics is the study of heredity and the variations that occur on heritable traits. Our first biology movie in this best sci fi movies list set in the fictional aerospace firm in the future;

Gattaca is a movie that tells the story where people’s societal classes are determined by one’s genetic makeup. This idea has caught the attention of Vincent Freeman who wanted to become an astronaut so bad that he went on procedures to change his genetic profile.

2. Blueprint

Biology Concept Film Type Year of Release
Biotechnology Movie 2003

BlueprintBiotechnology is the branch of biology that deals with the utilization of biological organisms and systems to create novel products. For instance, the process of reproductive Cloning, the process of creating copies of DNA, cells, or organisms, is considered the most recent development in the field.

The 2003 sci-fi movie entitled Blueprint revolves around the very idea of cloning. This biology movie deals with the story of the first ever cloned human being and the search for everlasting life.

3. Splice

Biology Concept Film Type Year of Release
Genetic Engineering Movie 2009

SpliceGenetic Engineering is a relatively new field of biology that deals with the manipulation of an organism’s gene to alter its phenotype. For instance, the Splice movie, built around the concept of human cloning and genetic engineering, tells the story of how genetic engineers tried to gain fame by splicing different animal DNA to form new ones for medical use.

4. The story of Louis Pasteur

Biology Concept Film Type Year of Release
Pasteurization Movie 1936

The Story of Louis PasteurThis biology movie centers around the life of Louis Pasteur, one of the progenitors of the disciplines of Microbiology and Immunology. Despite working at the time when the study of the microbial world was poorly appreciated, Pasteur was able to come up with the process called “pasteurization“.

This process, named after him, involves the heating of food (both liquid and solid) to a sub-boiling temperature, and then followed by rapid cooling. Aside from that, Pasteur was able to develop vaccines against rabies and anthrax.

5. Outbreak

Biology Concept Film Type Year of Release
Virus Movie 1995

OutbreakThe 1995 movie Outbreak focuses on the struggle of army Doctors to look for ways on how to prevent a fatal virus from an African Monkey from spreading throughout a town in California.

Aside from that, the group also needs to save the lives of the people before the army superiors do their real motives. If you love thriller movies with a bit of science fiction in it, you will love this movie.

6. Mission Impossible 2

Biology Concept Film Type Year of Release
Bioterrorism Movie 2000

Mission Impossible IIBioterrorism (or biological terrorism), as its name suggests, is the use of living organisms to intentionally harm or kill people, much in the same way as traditional terrorism methods.

One good example of this particular concept is the movie Bioterror. This Hollywood movie mainly focuses on bioterrorism and the possibility of anthrax.

7. Anatomy

Biology Concept Film Type Year of Release
Anatomy Movie 2000

AnatomyComing from the Greek word “anatome” which means dissection, Anatomy is the branch of science that deals with the identification and description of the body structures of living things. If you love watching cadaver dissection videos, the movie Anatomy is perfect for you.

Here, the medical student Paula Henning is set to investigate the cadaver of a young man and eventually to uncover a conspiracy being kept by a secret society in her school.

8. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Histology

Biology Concept Film Type Year of Release
Cell Biology TV Movie 2017

The Immortal Life of Henrietta-Lacks-HistologyBased on the biography of an African-American woman named Henrietta Lacks, the movie is an adaptation of the book of the same title. It depicts the story of Lacks who died because of cervical cancer, and from whom doctors have (illegally) taken samples of malignant tissues as a part of their quest for cells that could survive and reproduce outside the body.

Interestingly, Lacks’ cells were able to do this and eventually led to the establishment of the HeLa cell line. Because of this, the study of cells and tissues have been further developed, leading to significant developments in the field of histology. This field deals with the study of biological tissues and the ways they interact structurally and functionally with other cells and tissues in the body.

9. The Physician

Biology Concept Film Type Year of Release
Physiology Movie 2013

The PhysicianPhysiology is the branch of biology that studies the functions and processes that occur in living organisms. For instance, a surgeon, like any skilled biologist, should have a good knowledge of physiology.

The movie entitled The Physician, based from the best-selling book of the same name tells the story of a boy who wanted to become a surgeon and to do that, disguised himself as a Jew to be admitted in a medical school. Aside from human physiology and anatomy, this biology movie tackles other themes like family and religion too!

10. The Madness of King George

Biology Concept Film Type Year of Release
Biochemistry Movie 1994

The Madness of King GeorgeShort for biological chemistry, Biochemistry is the integration and understanding of the chemical processes that occur in living organisms.

Interestingly, the movie entitled The Madness of King George revolves around this subject area. The movie tells the behavior of the late King George III as he suffers from a hereditary metabolic disorder known as Porphyria. People with this disease suffer from discoloration of urine and eventually madness as a consequence of porphyrin buildup, to which during that time is still a mystery.

11. Extraordinary Measures

Biology Concept Film Type Year of Release
Glycobiology Movie 2010

Extraordinary MeasuresEmerging its origins from biochemistry, the field of glycobiology has transformed into a vital extension of medical science. By definition, glycobiology is the scientific study of the biology, structure, and synthesis of widely-distributed Carbohydrates, and metabolism in general.

For instance, the movie named Extraordinary Measures deals with the struggles of a couple to find the cure for their children’s Pompe disease, a rare metabolic genetic disorder.

12. Autopsy Life and Death: Tumors

Biology Concept Film Type Year of Release
Pathology TV Series 2010

Autopsy Life and Death: TumorsBy definition, pathology is the branch of medicine that deals with the study of diseases. In this field, one of the most popular topics is the mechanism by which cancer forms.

In particular, this documentary/TV series movie Autopsy Life and Death: Tumors, a part of the BBC series by Dr.Gunther Von Hagens, deals with the study of the causes, formation, and effects of cancer.

13. Lazarus Effect

Biology Concept Film Type Year of Release
Epidemiology Movie 2015

Lazarus EffectHistorically speaking, the human immunodeficiency virus and the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome began as an illness that had caused fear and widespread mortality in the world. When it comes to list of science fiction films on this topic, The Lazarus Effect should be on your watch list.

Here, the impacts of the disease, as well as the antiretroviral cure for it will be discussed. Overall, the theme of the movie is covered by the branch of epidemiology, the branch of biology that deals with the occurrence, distribution, and the treatment and control of diseases.

14. Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story

Biology Concept Film Type Year of Release
Neurosurgery Movie 2009

Gifted HandsThe next movie in this biology movies list is about the life of one of the most famous neurosurgeons at the John Hopkins Hospital–Dr. Ben Carson. Here, you will witness the humble beginnings of Carson as a poor student and eventually become a medical doctor in a prestigious university.

In the history of neurosurgery, Carson led a team of 70 medical members in the first ever attempt to separate the conjoined twins, Benjamin and Patrick Binder. The twins had suffered some complications, but they both survived the operation. As a result, Carson’s successful operation is considered to be the first medical procedure of its kind.

15. Osmosis Jones

Biology Concept Film Type Year of Release
Immunology Movie 2001

Osmosis JonesAn animated movie that talks about how the body’s immune system reacts when it catches diseases like colds–that is all that Osmosis Jones is all about. Told in the point of view of the white blood cell in the name Osmosis Jones, this is immunology explained in more natural terms–the specialized functions and roles of different cells and tissues, as well as the mechanisms by which they get rid of the infection.

16. Jurassic Park

Biology Concept Film Type Year of Release
Paleontology Movie 1993

Jurassic ParkIf you are interested in studying about Fossils and other creatures of the past, then this movie is perfect for you. While there have been many movies about dinosaurs, the science fiction movies of the Jurassic Park series are perhaps one of the best. In the movies, dinosaurs were not depicted as the typical ferocious monsters often portrayed in other media, but rather actual living creatures of the past. Moreover, despite being a sci-fi movie, the Jurassic Park series only proves how the field of paleontology has progressed.

17. Darwin’s Struggle: The Evolution of the Origin of Species

Biology Concept Film Type Year of Release
Evolution Documentary 2009

The Evolution of the Origin of SpeciesEvolution is defined as the changes that occur in the genetic makeup of populations over time.

These changes may be caused by different factors such as Mutation, hybridization, natural selection, and so on. If you want to know more about natural selection, the most widely known drivers of evolution, the documentary movie Darwin’s Struggle: The Evolution of the Origin of Species, is one of the best ways to do it. Here, discover the process by which organisms change through time as a result of changes in their inherited characteristics.

18. Future Girls: Adventures in Marine Biology

Biology Concept Film Type Year of Release
Marine Biology Documentary 2006

Future GirlsAs its name suggests, Marine Biology is the study of marine organisms, their behavior, and their relationship with their environment. Aside from that, other associated fields like oceanography, taxonomy, and systematics are encompassed.

For instance, the Future movie Girls: Adventures in Marine Biology tells the story of elementary school-aged girls as they try to learn about the science of marine biology, and eventually consider it as a career choice. Who knows that after watching this movie, you might as well consider taking a career in marine biology?

19. Whale Shark Hunters of the Philippines

Biology Concept Film Type Year of Release
Biodiversity Documentary 2001

Whale HuntingAs its name suggests, the movie centers on the study of the ecological conservation of whale sharks in the Philippines. Biologically speaking, whale sharks are considered the largest fish in the animal kingdom and are a vegetarian regarding diet. However, despite their name and size, these organisms are gentle creatures that help in the maintenance of species in the food chain and serve as a biological indicator of ocean health.

This biology movie shows how despite worldwide efforts to conserve them, whale sharks are still hunted commercially, thus posing severe threats to their population.

20. Botany of Desire

Biology Concept Film Type Year of Release
Botany Documentary 2001

Botany of DesireBased on the non-fiction book of the same name, the movie The Botany of Desire explores the breathtaking beauty of nature and the science behind it.

Here, you could learn a lot about concepts like genetic engineering, ecology, as well as the factors that ensure the survival of Plants. If you love botany, the study of plants, then this documentary movie is a must-watch.

21. Fantastic Fungi

Biology Concept Film Type Year of Release
Mycology Documentary 2018

Fantastic FungiDo you love mushrooms? If your answer is yes, the field of mycology might be a suitable field for you. Here, you will primarily study the identification, biochemical properties, as well as their uses and applications. One great way to learn more about mycology is watching the movie Fantastic Fungi by Louie Schwartzberg.

The biology movie aims to educate people about the importance of fungi and inspire them to appreciate their existence.

22. Earth

Biology Concept Film Type Year of Release
Ecology Documentary 2007

EarthEcology is a branch of biology that deals with the study of the interactions between living organisms and their physical environment. If you want to have a good grasp of how living organisms interact, the 2007 documentary movie entitled Earth is what you should be watching.

A feature-length version of the Planet Earth documentary TV series, this biology documentary showcases the migration patterns of four representative families in the animal kingdom.

23. The Big Year

Biology Concept Film Type Year of Release
Ornithology Movie 2011

The Big YearComing from the Greek words “ornithos” and “logos” which mean “Birds” and “study of” respectively, to simply put, ornithology is the scientific study of birds. Inspired by this branch of biology is the movie The Big Year, which adapted from the best-selling book of the same title. The movie tells the true story of three men who were obsessed about the competition for the search of the “best birder in the world“. With many scenes showcasing the beauty of nature and the diversity of birds, this comedy movie is a must-watch.

24. Into the Wild

Biology Concept Film Type Year of Release
Zoology Movie 2007

Into the wildWhat better way to learn Zoology, the study of animals and their behavior, than experience it first-hand in the wild? Based on the non-fiction book of the same title, Into the Wild is a movie about a person who walked away from his affluent lifestyle to seek adventure in the wilderness.

Aside from this, you will also discover what it is like to survive without the company of others, and that nature could be ruthless sometimes. This movie is a heartwarming one!

25. Cane Toads: An Unnatural History

Biology Concept Film Type Year of Release
Biocontrol Documentary 2016

Cane ToadsThe last but not the least biology movie is the most recent fields to emerge – biocontrol. This branch deals with the fundamental and applied studies and research when it comes to the control of pests whether they are plants, invertebrates, vertebrates, or even Microorganisms.

One of the best movies that deals with this topic are the documentary movie entitled Cane Toads: An Unnatural History. Here, you will get to know about the effort to introduce the said animals as counter-pests in Australia.

26. Downsizing

Biology Concept Film Type Year of Release
Overpopulation/Global Warming Movie 2017

Downsizing PosterOverpopulation in biology generally refers to when a given species’ population surpasses the carrying limit of its ecological niche. Overpopulation can occur from a rise in births, a drop in the death rate, or an unsustainable biome and reduction of resources. It is further classified into two categories namely human overpopulation and animal population.

The Hollywood movie ‘Downsizing’ starring Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig attempts to find an answer to overpopulation and global warming issues. In the movie, a Norwegian scientist invents a process called “cellular miniaturization” where an organism (lab rat) reduces to 1/100th of the size. The same process is being applied to the main character of the movie and all the consequences and adventures that he had to experience after becoming 5 inches tall covers the rest of the movie. While the inventors defend that downsizing is environmentally friendly by the decrease of waste, the movie argues that its advantages reach far beyond that and improve one’s life through the increase in the value of their money.

Now, who says that you cannot learn while having fun at the same time?

If you know of any other biology-based movies and biological concepts used in the plot, share them in the comments section below!

Cite this article as: "Top 26 Biology Themed Movies," in Bio Explorer by Jack Kirsten, July 6, 2018, https://www.bioexplorer.net/biology-movies.html/.
Top 26 Biology Themed Movies
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